Journey with Jo

Follow me as I blog about my various journeys across the globe, making budget travel look luxurious!

Monday, July 22, 2019

My Solo Cruise Experience

This past June, I decided on a whim to go on a cruise, all on my lonesome. I didn't have any summer plans set in stone and realized that I needed to get out of the country.

To maximize the amount of places I could see, I decided to search for a cruise. Now, to be very honest, I've never been a big fan of the sailing hotel. Having gone on 3 of them before, I'd always preferred trekking out on land and having the option to move how I wanted. And being that I do my trips a-la-alone, the price tag associated with going on a cruise solo was something I never wanted to dish out. I mean seriously, why charge someone double the price for going somewhere by themselves! If anything, being that much of a badass deserves a discount! Right???



But after doing some research and seeing that Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), had special cabins (and rates) for solo travelers, and not having to pay for double occupancy, I just knew I had to try it out. 

I opted for the 7 Day Western Caribbean Cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway, leaving out of Miami and sailing to Honduras, Belize, and two ports in Mexico. I specifically chose this itinerary, because I've never been to Honduras or Belize, so this was a great opportunity to do so. 

The thing that I, undoubtedly, am the most pleased about is the way Norwegian catered to solo travelers. Some of those things included:

1. Solo Studio Accommodations 
There is a certain section of the ship, that houses the Solo Studios. These cabins are specifically designed to lodge one person. Albeit smaller than a regular inside cabin, I did appreciate the window that was in the room. 


A tour of my solo cabin

I know a small room, without an ocean view isn't appeasing to most, but for me it was fine. I'm only in the room to sleep and bathe, so it didn't bother me to not have extra square feet to walk around.


Just enough space for me to sleep and get my nightly journaling in
2. Solo Lounge
At the end of the hallway, there was a lounge, specifically for solo guests. It was a chic, two floor getaway that came completed stocked each day with snacks, beverages, and a bar.


Snack & Beverage Station/Seating Area

Lower Level of Lounge

Our board for daily announcements/schedule of activities
There is also so nice seating area and a TV for use. I thought this was a really nice "extra" and I was able to meet different people while coming in from time to time to grab some snacks.

3. Solo Staff Member
In addition to the lounge, there was also a dedicated person from the entertainment staff who was assigned to the solo travelers for the week.

Each night, at 5:30PM, all the "solos" convened in our lounge to meet with Merlina, our wonderful host who hails from the lovely island of St. Lucia. At this time, she went over the most popular nightly activities, shows and events that were happening. What I loved about this was, it was not necessary for us to reserve seats for shows that required advance notice. All we had to do was tell Merlina, and she put our names on the list, without worry.


The solo gang with our lovely host, Merlina
This was also helpful, because it allowed for us "solos" to be sat with one another at these events. It was a real treat having her able to arrange that for us.

Additionally, after spending 30 minutes at our daily meetup, we all (those who wanted to) went to dinner with each other. It felt really good knowing that I wouldn't be at a dinner table alone each night. Now of course, I don't mind, and have done it dozens of times on my travels, but having the chance to sit with people, get to know their stories, and catch up on the day with each other was super refreshing.

***
Beyond the way Norwegian ensured the solos were well taken care of, all the other amenities of the ship were fantastic. There were top notch, Broadway shows each night, a comedy club, a casino that may or may not take all your money, and interactive events.

Speaking of interactive events, I even participated in a lip-sync battle.



I hope I made Whitney proud

Another dope thing was that I really made some great connections and met people from all over the world, literally. Amongst our solo group was a man from South Africa,, a female doctor from Miami, a woman from Botswana, a man from South Carolina, and two other women from New York (one from upstate and the other, the city).
My South African Buddy



Travel friends from South Carolina & Botswana
I also have to put it out there, and am very pleased, that all of the solo women in our group were beautiful, strong, talented, educated, Black Women. I truly believe the travel gods arranged that. That kind of thing doesn't happen a lot in the travel world.


Cheers to my solo friend for celebrating a milestone birthday on the ship!

Hanging out before dinner
These were honestly some of the kindest and funniest people I've ever met. I'm so thankful that this was my "crew" during this week and couldn't have hand picked a more eclectic, wholesome group of people to be around. 

***
If you're thinking about doing a cruise solo, I would highly encourage it. I am also putting a huge-superbig-shameless-plug to do it with Norwegian. I've not been on many other cruise lines, but from talking with avid cruisers and also from doing my research prior to making a choice, it seems like Norwegian has the game on lock when it comes to making a person traveling by themself, not seem by themself.

I know for some people, being alone isn't the easiest thing to do, especially on a cruise setting where everyone is either with their significant other or family. This is where I believe Norwegian sets themselves apart from others. You don't have to feel alone and can opt-in to spending time with new people that have also came with themselves only.

All in all, I had a fantastic week, filled with laughter, making friends, first time experiences (scuba diving anyone??), and the opportunity to see the world.


Treated myself to an all week spa pass was one of the greatest choice I made!
Driving a jeep in Mexico

A short snippet of my time Under De Sea

I hope this post inspires someone to take the leap and book that cruise, especially if you're someone that has thought about it. And if you haven't, you too, go ahead and do it! We have one life to live and missed opportunities don't have to be if you decide other wise!

Peace & Love Always!
xo,
Jo
@journeywithjo_

P.S. Through this process I was able to connect with a lovely representation on NCL that can assist with getting the best rates. If you're interested in booking, reach out to me so I can connect you!

4 comments:

  1. I’ve been contemplating going on a cruise by myself for a couple years now. I never knew cruise lines had “solo” options and accommodations. In the past I found organized single cruises on specific dates- which rarely work with my hectic work schedule. I have yet to master work/life balance �� but THIS new info is AMAZING and I can’t wait to research Norwegian. Thank you for sharing!!

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    1. Hey Rebecca!

      Yes it was super shocking to me when I found out NCL does this. Glad to know you're thinking about it. They have tons of options when it comes to where the boat leaves from (so many choices beyond Florida) and cruise length. So when thinking about work/life balance, which I know all too well.

      Try to play around with those two things when you check out the site and I’m sure you can find something. Happy researching and please let me know if you end up booking!!

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  2. Super proud of you Jo. Looks like your getting back to Jo and living your best life again. Just next time extend an invite please !!

    Love your LS Brit

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    1. Hey Brittany! Thanks for the kind words. It feels great getting back to the things I love the most. This trip was spur of the moment, but next time I will definitely let you know so we can plan together!

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